Evan Eggiman and the Utes are preparing for their season opener against Idaho State.
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Friday, Aug. 22 Practice Notes ...
With two-a-days behind them, the Utes wore helmets and shoulder pads this morning during their only workout of the day. Tonight, they'll walk through a "mock game," getting the timing down for all pre-game preparations leading up to the kickoff.
The 20 minutes of media availability toward the end of practice began with individual work in position groups.
The final segment of practice featured 7-on-7 drills with four ladders situated in front of the quarterbacks to simulate traffic at the line of scrimmage. Each drive started at the offense's own 30-yard line with the first and second units rotating after each series.
The team will vote on its captains and leadership council members during a meeting tonight.
From Coach Whittingham ...
On today's practice and the team's preparation schedule:
"Today was good, a Monday practice format. We handled it well. Put all of the game plans in and putting the finishing touches on, that's what we'll be doing over the next few days. Then we'll line up and play on Thursday. We'll have a practice tomorrow and Sunday off then Wednesday is very light so we really have three work days to go. We're excited for the season and sick of lining up against each other. It's time to line up against someone else and that's now six days away."
On the importance of the team's leadership:
"It's huge. I've never been involved with a great team that didn't have great leadership. If we're going to have a chance to do some things this year then we have to have leaders step up. We've had good leadership throughout fall camp. We have a lot of new faces in the program so we wanted to wait until fall camp is over and everyone got to know everyone before we made this decision. We have a great pool of candidates. We're going to have five captains, two on offense, two on defense and one on special teams."
On mindset of the team heading into Idaho State game:
"We need play clean. We need to play efficiently. We need to execute on offense and have the tempo where we want it to be and limit the mental mistakes. That's what we're really looking for, to play a clean game and do things the right way. We approach every game the same. It doesn't matter who we're playing. Everyone we play has our respect so we're not thinking or preparing any differently for this game no matter who we're playing."
Post-Practice Impressions from the Utes ...
Offensive Coordinator Dave Christensen
On the offense:
"The offense has practiced with a lot of speed and intensity throughout camp and will now focus on getting its legs back to play with a lot of speed on Thursday."
Defensive Tackle Filipo Mokofisi
On the defensive line's role on the team:
"The defensive line sets the tempo and attitude of the entire defense and as a unit. We try to plug the gaps in the offensive line."
On transition from defensive end:
"A big challenge was maintaining my weight and getting used to going through workouts with it. It has become part of my life so I'm used to it now. The challenge I have right now is improving my technique as a defensive lineman."